Galibier Vent Ultra Gilet – review

An incredibly packable gilet that’s perfect for stowing away for emergencies

What do we want from a gilet? Ultimate waterproofness? Great breathability? Possibly – but most importantly, it’s likely you want it to be packable.

Luckily, the Galibier Vent Ultra gilet is supremely packable – literally compressible into a clenched fist in the medium I had on test, while it weighs a scarcely-believable claimed 59g. In a back pocket, you don’t notice it at all, and it even leaves space for a gel or bar or two, or a set of thinner arm warmers.

Such a light construction doesn’t mean it’s not up to much other than an emergency layer, either. It’s genuinely windproof, proven when I descended the Alpe d’Huez early morning ahead of the recent Prix de Rousses race, and able to keep essential body heat in even when the temperature drops into single figures.

Galibier’s Vent Ultra Gilet is supremely packable, while it also features an off-centre zip and high collar to offer some protection from the elements
  • Specification

  • Price: £36
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Size tested: M
  • Colours: White
  • Website: Galibier

It’s also lightly splash proof, and features an off-centre zip to help keep out draughts and drizzle, which hitches up to the zip garage at the neck.

The neckline is high itself to help reduce ingress too, with a little extra padding for comfort.

Around the arms there’s a nicely-taught cut to keep you insulated, while the back is extra long to help protect your rear from splashback if the heavens have opened. The black sections are slightly elasticated to allow a comfortable fit around the midriff too.

If you’re pressed to leave it on for a longer period of time, there’s a little added practicality with reach holes for the jersey pockets inside, while the Vent Ultra fabric does allow some sweat to wick away, although not a huge amount – I spotted some condensation beads on the inside in pretty quick order, although I never felt the boil-in-the-bag syndrome.

A slim overall cut characterises the fit, with a medium – I size a medium or large normally – fitting me perfectly with a little breathing room. It’s certainly not baggy, but it’s not like you’ve been compressed into a cellophane wrap either.


This is a great little gilet that’s perfect for stowing away, and competent when worn. But seeing as most of its life will be spent stowed away in a pocket, it doesn’t need to be a perfect performer in this area. A true emergency gilet.

The Galibier Ultra Vent is exactly what you want from an emergency gilet


  • Very light
  • Very packable
  • Windproof
  • Good fit and cut
  • Decent value


  • Not very breathable
  • Only really splashproof (not waterproof)


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